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[moh-tuh-veyt] /ˈmoʊ təˌveɪt/
verb (used with object), motivated, motivating.
to provide with a motive or motives; incite; impel.
1860-65; motive + -ate1
Related forms
motivator, noun
demotivate, verb (used with object), demotivated, demotivating.
demotivator, noun
nonmotivated, adjective
remotivate, verb (used with object), remotivated, remotivating.
unmotivated, adjective
unmotivating, adjective
well-motivated, adjective
induce, move, provoke, prompt, cause. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for motivating
  • Then progressing to learned music reading slowed down the improvisational but motivating.
  • Teaching research skills is motivating if the topic is in the sciences.
  • And that-more than anything-is likely to have a motivating effect on officials.
  • The high price of gold was a motivating factor for many.
  • In many ways, you are the source of your dog's energy, so motivating him really begins with you.
  • In some countries, economic stimulus programs may have been a factor in motivating change.
  • While utilities race to install smart meters, some urge a simpler approach for motivating consumers to use less electricity.
  • Giraffes are remarkably smart and the food they receive as a reinforcement when they respond is highly motivating.
  • Personal style has to do with making good judgments, having a sense of humor, and motivating others to effect change.
  • Rivalry can be highly motivating, but it can also impair people's judgment and bias their recall of events.
British Dictionary definitions for motivating


(transitive) to give incentive to
Derived Forms
motivator, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for motivating



1863, "to stimulate toward action," from motive + -ate (2); perhaps modeled on French motiver or German motivieren. Related: Motivated; motivating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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